I’m on record as calling BS on the psychology of many Hiring Managers in a postrecession world, as many hiring managers think they have postrecession hiring power when it comes to the recruiting process.
For a brief time after a recession, this theory is true. Recessions lead to high unemployment, which means candidate supply outstrips employer demand. The issue, of course, is that this quickly subsides when the hiring market picks up, and some hiring managers hang on to the belief that they have supply and demand power for up to a year or two after it’s 100% gone.
We had a recession by the definition of the word in 2020. But this was a pandemic-flavored recession, and most reliable indicators say that the labor market is tightening up quickly—significantly faster than it did after the “great recession” in 2008/2009.
This means many TA leaders are under great pressure. Some realities for the corporate TA leader in 2021:
1–Most TA shops furloughed people in 2020 as openings at their company went to zero with no end in sight.
2–New reqs started to trickle in during Q3 and Q4 of 2020. Staff size was not increased. Still lots of economic fear.
3–Hiring leaders absolutely flooded the system with new openings in Q1 of 2021. New budgets + pent up demand from COVID equals your open reqs doubling in the course of 45 days. Call it “revenge hiring.”
4–Did we mention many of you are back to Q1 2020 req levels with a fraction of the recruiters to handle it?
Not a great situation for any TA leader. That’s why it’s important to PLAY OFFENSE, when it comes to the realities of what you’re facing as an HR/TA leader, and communicate clearly to your leadership team that they can pick two of the following features until you get your full recruiting team back.
Do you want your recruiting Fast, Good or Cheap? Please pick two!!
You want it fast and good? Understood, we’ll need an external partner, and I’ve shopped it for the speed you want and have all the options—RPO, contractors, gig, contingency search, total talent management, etc.
You want it good and cheap? Super! I’m working on doubling the size of my COVID-ravaged team, and here are the timelines I can provide good and cheap related to when I can get your openings filled.
You want it fast and cheap? I’m sorry, this number has been disconnected.
Playing offense on the options available is the most important thing a TA leader can do right now.
If you don’t play offense by presenting the options and the respective cost/time implications, you’re going to be held accountable for a situation you’re not responsible for.
Get your messaging out now. Show the delta that exists in your department and present a plan that clearly shows cost in exchange for speed—that closes the gap.
May the recovery be with you.
Kris Dunn is a Partner and CHRO at Kinetix, a national RPO firm for growth companies headquartered in Atlanta. He’s also the founder Fistful of Talent (founded in 2008) and The HR Capitalist (2007) – and has written over 70 feature columns at Workforce Management magazine. Prior to his investment at Kinetix, Kris served in HR leadership roles at DAXKO, Charter and Cingular. In his spare time, KD hits the road as a speaker and gives the world what it needs – pop culture references linked to Human Capital street smarts.